I know I do A LOT of product reviews. I confess, I love to shop and consider myself to be a somewhat of a self anointed maven. I love trying new things out and writing about it.
Perfect for blogging but not so great for the environment. So I have come to a decision to instead of throwing things out; I will reuse them in hopes that my family will make less impact than the Earth. I wish I could say that I live off the grid and grow my own vegetables and all that; maybe one day I will get there. For now we rent, we use electricity from coal generated power company (When asked about alternative resources, the sales associate had no answer for me). We do things for the Environment, but I feel not enough. Well here’s a way you can do something for the environment free… it doesn’t cost nada, zip, nothing. Reuse what you have and use until it’s standing on its last leg. Take for example the Ikea desk that my significant other had since his single days. I hate that desk. I hate its MDF cheapness and how it’s coming apart since the move. It’s really standing on its last leg. I want to throw it away (or donate to Salvation Army) and get a brand new desk. I saw one on Pottery Barn catalog that’s SO me. However, I decided to put some pretty wall paper over the ikea one and call it a day. It’s a waste to throw it out and anytime, you purchase something new. More renewable resources are needed to build another one. Just remember that.
I am getting quite creative with uses of things. Another example are the tab curtains we had that are SO outdated and didn’t fit the windows to our new place. As someone who puts considerable value in aesthetics and design; the curtains were blight to my stylish sensibilities. However, with a curtain rod and modern textile, I repurposed the curtains to be a shade for the window. I didn’t have to go out and buy a new curtain or shade. I just used the one I have to create something that worked for the new place. It saved the curtains to going to the landfill (or the Salvation Army, my solution for unwanted things) and I saved money in the process.
I believe if more of us started taking on the idea that things are irreplaceable. That new doesn’t necessarily mean better. That we can keep things out of the landfill because the items no longer fit our style or outgrow them; it’s a definite way to be more Eco-conscious and green.
Image Source: flickr by Lush.i.ous
Related Posts about Sustainable Living and Environmental Issues
Composting in Baby Steps: In Which I Prove That You Are Better Than I
Modern Day Homesteading and Voluntary Simplicity: Giving Away Your Possessions and Living Off the Land
Recycle With Your Children
[This post was written by Susie Kim.]
Eddy De Clercq says
I also like to try out this as you can see in these two blogs. The new things are usually more eco friendly than the old ones, which btw can be recycled.
Rebecca (Green Baby Guide) says
I try to do the same thing. We, too, have the cheap-o furniture from our college days still lingering around because I feel like it’s wasteful to go out and replace a perfectly functioning (but terribly ugly) shelf with a new one.
One thing you could do if you really want a better desk is sell it on Craigslist. Then buy yourself a better one off of Craigslist. Really this is no worse for the environment than keeping your Ikea desk forever because you’re not buying a brand new Pottery Barn desk. (Of course, there will be some carbon emissions involved in picking up the new-to-you desk.)
I hope you will consider joining our blog carnival over at the Green Baby Guide: Thrifty Green Thursday. Many of your posts would already qualify!
Adam (Twilight Earth) says
My wife and I have a house full of antiques picked up off curbs and bought from the Salvation Army and Craigslist. Most of it is Art Deco and we have some Art Novue. You wouldn’t believe what you can find if you know what you are looking for. I strip it down and refinish it and it looks better than the brand new stuff.
Renew ought to be added to the three “r’s”. Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
I like stopping by from time to time.
Alter the Eco and keep up the good fight.
Susie Kim says
Actually most of our furniture is from Craigslist and Ebay. I try not to buy any furniture new. 🙂 The desk is staying for now. I don’t think anyone would want it.. maybe for free… but not ready to give up on it yet. Thanks for your comments and suggestions
Uncle B says
Too bad we couldn’t design cars with recoverable parts. Many perfectly re-usable engines and other major parts go to the furnaces after one use because greed and unchecked annual model changes that enforce this waste make it profitable to do so! My old VW had retro-fittable parts, complete repair ability, and if a Chinese manufacturer is reading this, I would go out and by a car built like my old VW, in a Chevy heartbeat! made in China or not. I no longer can afford the screwing “The Big Three” are giving me.